Despite being out of action, Daniel Bryan is one of the WWE’s most popular superstars on the roster. During any broadcast of WWE TV, at least a few fans will pull out the popular “Yes!” chant that went viral during Bryan’s ascension to the top of WWE. With many wrestlers who execute high-risk moves, there is exactly that: high risk. Lita, Rey Mysterio, Edge, and others are primary examples.
In Bryan’s case, he sustained an injury during the peak of his push. After winning the WWE World Heavyweight championship at WrestleMania 30, Bryan didn’t hold the belt much longer. He had to go on the injured reserve list and didn’t come back until several months later. The former WWE champion finally made his return for the push to WrestleMania 31.
At the grand event, he won the Intercontinental championship. While John Cena won the U.S. title, Bryan was attempting to make the IC title relevant on WWE Smackdown. It was the perfect plan for the strap, but Bryan had to relinquish the belt due to a concussion. Since then, Bryan hasn’t returned to the squared circle.
Rumors came out a few times about Bryan being cleared, but he confirmed yesterday that Joseph Maroon, WWE’s lead concussion doctor, won’t clear him. Bryan wants to wrestle, but the WWE won’t let him until another doctor clears him. What does this mean for his WWE future? According to NoDQ and Dave Meltzer, Daniel Bryan won’t be leaving the WWE anytime soon.
“In the latest installment of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer mentions that Bryan still has several years on his contract with WWE and the company is not open to releasing him from his contract.
“WWE is cracking down on concussions and with Bryan’s long history of suffering them, his future as an in-ring competitor is still up in the air. Bryan recently mentioned in an interview with IGN that he would be meeting with a third doctor shortly to see if he can get cleared by the doctor.”
The WWE is doing the wise thing by holding on to Daniel Bryan. While he may not be able to wrestle, there’s always room for appearances and on-screen segments that don’t involve him taking any bumps. Just like Edge’s sporadic returns once or twice a year, Edge doesn’t have to engage in the WWE stars physically.
He’s simply there to promote something and enhance younger WWE stars. When Edge returned earlier this year, he worked an angle with Seth Rollins. That only helped the WWE champion get over as a heel to the audience. The odd part about Bryan’s absence is that he could still wrestle and make a huge impact.
Unlike Edge, Bryan wasn’t planning on retiring soon. Edge was trying to regress his time on WWE TV, which is why he was putting over Alberto Del Rio in the process. Del Rio was supposed to take Edge’s place as the top heel on WWE Smackdown. Bryan’s concussion is the major roadblock to his return to wrestling.
Since the WWE is cracking down on concussions, Bryan’s in a tough spot. If it were an injury to his shoulder, knee, foot, hip, arm, wrist or anything in that realm, Bryan would’ve been cleared by now. The possibility of the injury not being as serious is there, which means he could’ve stayed on WWE television. If he can’t come back by WrestleMania 32, then consider Bryan gone, or retired.
It’s hard to imagine a WWE without Daniel Bryan, but he wants to wrestle. There’s a chance he leaves for Ring of Honor or Lucha Underground. The sight wouldn’t be easy on the eyes at first, but the man is a wrestler, even if it’s not for the WWE.
[Images via wwe.com]